RSS

Tag Archives: I Am Second

The Written Burrito

The Written Burrito

I have never been a writer. Nope, never. I remember knowing in first grade that my handwriting was terrible. SO terrible that when I was doing my homework, where I had to write my spelling words three times each, that I had to slow down so immensely that I could hear a clicktrack in my brain in order to write legibly enough for my teacher to read what I was writing. That concept didn’t change until I was in 6th grade. That previous summer my grandaddy had given us his old computer when he had upgraded. It was a Headstart LX 8088. The operating system was DOS, and we installed GeoWorks. For those of you who are computer nerds, this was the first CD-ROM system, and the CDs were loaded in special cases, Windows 3.1 was too advanced for it. Yeah, it was awesome….to me…at the time.

That year we read the book Secret of NIMH, and were assigned our first MLA formatted paper. I chose to write from the viewpoint of the cat, Dragon. I sat down in front of that awesome computer, booted GeoWorks from the 3.5” floppy and started the word processor. I stared at my cat, Jazz, for a solid half hour and tried to put myself into his personality, and thought about the framework of the book. I wrote a one page paper, printed it, and even made a cover page with a cat clipart, put it in one of those clear report covers with the hard plastic spine that slides on and turned it in. My teacher thought it was awesome and gave me an A. It was awesome. Handwriting was for suckers.

I wrote exactly 1 more creative writing pieces throughout the rest of my school career. It was in 8th grade, and it was my riff on the Declaration of Independence for my civics class. Being the kid that came to school in camos and band shirts with a chain attached to my wallet, and played Magic: The Gathering everyday at lunch, I got bullied and picked on quite a bit at school by the popular kids and told how much of a satanist I was by the fairly large population of kids from one particular youth group from the area. So, my independence was declared from “religious extremists”. Yep, at 13 I wrote a manifesto about how much of a jackwagon Christians were. I quoted scripture and song lyrics. My teacher posted it on the wall of the classroom.

Then came High School. 9th grade of course was a blur of stupidity and class skipping, but that summer I started my first real band. We played Metallica, Creed, Nirvana, KoRn, and Limp Bizkit covers and played a show at a chinese buffet restaurant. Then we started writing original tunes. I was writing lyrics as the singer. Yep, writing, and no, I didnt do it on the computer, so yeah, it was handwritten. Then came my student politics career. All of a sudden I was writing speeches. I was speaking in front of the whole school, then hundreds of people as a state officer, followed by thousands of thousands as a national officer. These speeches had to have substance, and I was writing them pretty much weekly.

I wasn’t a writer though. Nope, not in my head. I was a singer, and a speaker, but not a writer. Fast forward about 6 years and I find myself in Youth Ministry, preaching from the pulpit a handful of times a year, where I had to write full sermons on scripture themes and weekly sunday school lessons. Now I was in ministry, but still not a writer. Then it came, I had made some friends on facebook that started a local faith based magazine, and they were gearing up their online content and asked me to write a blog for them. I agreed and started turning out weekly pieces about this thing I called the Holy Burrito. I was writing…on deadline…for a real publication…but still didn’t call myself a writer. Nope, I was a blogger maybe, but a writer? Nah, my writing style was how I talked, and I was steeped in sarcasm, and probably somebody that made grammar police twitch with anger. I started putting all my writing on my personal blog site. Then the guy that was writing the latest book for I Am Second read my blog, and liked it. He asked me to write for the launch campaign of the book.

Holy crap! Was I a writer now? I don’t know. I kept writing after the magazine and book campaign were over though. I just kept going, admittedly less and less as I didn’t have anything concrete to submit to. Here I sit, writing though. So, where’s the tortilla to wrap all of this up? Maybe, it was all rambling and I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I think the point is that through all of this I ignored something that God had placed in my life to excel at as a true gift from Him, and saw it as one big happy coincidence. What an arrogant thought right? I think maybe. So whether I’m a writer or not, I’ writing, and thankful for doing so.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Ramblings

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dunkards – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Dunkards – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Day 20: Dunkards – I Am Second Blog

60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at http://www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.

Day 17 by Zach Emerson

“Jesus didn’t bring an entourage. He didn’t dress in glowing robes or a halo. Instead, he lived the simple life of a carpenter, and when the time was right, he stepped into the Jordan River and inaugurated his ministry.” -Live Second, 24.

I remember the day I was baptized extremely well. It was June 8, 2008. The date stays in my mind, not because they gave us towels with the date monogrammed in them, but because that was the day that I felt my calling to what some would consider more traditional ministry. It was the strangest thing. I had known all my life that I was put on this earth to make music, and of course after I came to a solid faith, I figured that I was probably going to end up in a music based ministry. It didn’t work that way.

I had a band that had gone through all of the motions of preparation for signing to a label, recording an album, and touring. We had a following, we had the equipment, and for the most part we had the drive to do pretty much whatever it took to make it to the next level. Then it was over. Poof – No more band. The drummer and myself moved on to another group and recorded another album and played some more shows, but just as quick as that one came it was gone. No more bands. I was pretty confused.

Now interweaved with the whole band timeline is me finding a girl, having a kid, moving in together, getting married (yes, really in that order, we did it backwards, I know) and finally finding a church that we wanted to raise our daughter in. After doing the Sunday syndrome thing for a while we decided it was time to commit to the church and we were baptized. We went through a class teaching about history of the denomination and different belief points, as well as the typical “why baptism matters” stuff and a few more points along the way, but one of the big points made in the class is that in our church denomination we dunk you 3 times. Yep, when Jesus said “…and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” our denomination took that to mean once for each.

Over the years many have coined the nicknamed “Dunkards” for the church, since we dunk ya 3 times. To me, I had heard the term, but didn’t make the connection because I didn’t know any “dunkards”, and growing up in different denominations, all I had ever seen was one dunk heading backwards. When I waded into the baptismal that morning I got on my knees and was dunked three times forward, face first. I can remember between each dunk taking a breath and feeling the air seem different to me. Once I got up, got out, and walked down the steps to receive my aforementioned monogrammed towel, things were just different.

Now, I have no solid comparison on what exactly I felt. Maybe if you’ve been baptized you know what I’m talking about, and maybe you don’t, but either way I went home knowing I was about to start something new. In the scripture for today’s devotional Jesus shows up to have John baptize Him, and as He came out of the water, we see a solid picture of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit co-existing in the same place at the same time. I wish I could say that it was that awesome when I came out of the water, but alas, no doves or shining light, well, short of the super bright light that shines on the baptismal because of the white walls surrounding me. Regardless, what happened next for Jesus, and what happened next for me sorta parallel. Of course, he had that whole 40 days of tempting in the desert by Satan thing, I just had to deal with working a call center job, but if you’ve ever worked a call center job, you may feel that Satan is behind every ziptone.

After my baptism, some time went by where I immersed myself in biblical history, different schools of thought on Christian theology, and all out Bible study, and then one morning after filling in for teaching the youth I was asked by our pastor and told by my wife to be the new youth director. It was a new experience to be sure, but as it all started to unfold, everything came together. I had youth that were interested in learning more about Jesus, and out of nowhere some old friends that were interested in talking God in a new and fresh way. There it was, the start of my ministry, and the birth of the Holy Burrito Crew. I had arrived at the start of my new journey, and I was excited about it.

My name is Zach Emerson. I am a Holy Burrito brother, a sinner saved by grace, a baptized believer, and I am Second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Season’s Meaning – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Season’s Meaning – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Day 19 – Season’s Meaning – I Am Second Blog

60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.

Day 19 by Zach Emerson

“Love is his name, kindness is his reputation” -Live Second, 22.

Read Luke 1:46-55.

Today we come to a piece of scripture from the first chapter of Luke that is known as The Magnificat, or Mary’s Song. In what would be an extremely scary and unsure time for most folks in life, Mary goes to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who has also been blessed with a pregnancy of importance. She will give birth to John the Baptizer, and as Mary enters the house and begins to speak to Elizabeth, John leaps from within the womb. The spiritual presence is palpable between them and Elizabeth tells Mary how blessed she is.

As they talk, Mary begins to speak of the awesomeness of God. The comparisons and allusions she makes are absolutely profound, and you can tell that at this point in her life she is extremely humbled by the fact that she has been chosen by God himself to have this baby. She is praising God and speaking of her thankfulness while pointing to His awesome power. This piece of scripture is absolutely awe inspiring.

When you sit down and truly think about the power that God has, in most cases, you wonder why he has truly chosen to allow us all to continue to share in His creation. He can take it all away in less than the move of a finger. He has brought down empires, and He has created the vast and awesome beauty of this entire world, yet He continues to love us in spite of the fact that we have continued to mar it with our selfish choices and single-minded endeavors. He continues to show us His grace time and time again.

So often we place our selves and our personal wants above Him. We exalt ourselves, and forsake Him. We forget Him, and remember only ourselves. Regardless, He provides. He feeds the hungry, and clothes the naked. He holds down the proud, and lifts up the humble. His might is unmatched, yet His mercy is unfathomable.

So many times I get caught up in what it is I am doing at the moment. Even when I am planning things for His church, I forget Him. When I am planning on glorifying Him, I am focusing on myself. We do it so often. It’s one of the things I love about the I Am Second ministry. It reminds me that someone comes before me. I know that He has done so much for me, and He deserves to be first. I’ve heard it described by using the acronym JOY: Jesus, Others, Yourself. I think it’s brilliant to look at it that way. I know that it’s easy to experience a temporal state of happiness when I focus on myself, but more often than not, when I have truly focused on Him, and given myself to others in His name, my happiness and state of mind just falls into place.

Today, my wife and I helped her mom and step dad rake leaves at their house, and then I cooked lunch for us all. I woke up annoyed that plans for the day had changed, but once I got into the swing of moving and by the time I was cooking lunch, I just felt good. I wanted to keep going. Of course, reality sank in and before I could re-ground myself the everyday hectic pace set in. Place to place and person to person, back and forth. It was right back to being the me that it’s so easy to be.

I’ve got to say that having to sit down and read these devotionals has been a great experience. Quite often I will read the Bible, but I don’t immerse myself in what He is saying to me. Having to add my thoughts to what have been absolutely divinely placed and delivered scriptures for my life right now has brought me to a place where truly wish I could live. Knowing that it’s ever so close to Christmas where we are supposed to celebrate the coming of our Savior, this has helped that much more. After working big box retail management for four years, I’ve got to say that just over five years later, Christmas time is still something I struggle with, but this time with these I Am Second devotionals has helped me further fix my gaze towards Him.

My name is Zach Emerson, I am a Holy Burrito Brother, an ungrateful sinner saved by grace, and I am Second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

Next for the 60-Days-of-Second: Day 20- “Dunkards” by Zach Emerson

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Burrito is Second

The Burrito is Second

Maybe you’ve figured this out by now, but I’m a metal-head.  From birth I’ve loved metal. My mom rocked me to sleep to Iron Maiden as a baby, I came home from pre-school and watched Metallica’s “One” Video and Motley Crue videos. I have ALWAYS loved it. Picked up a guitar and started playing at 13, started my first real band at 14. Of course, at age 14 in1998 the biggest band in metal was KoRn. All of my friends and I thought their sound was unique, fresh, and very identifiable  I can’t tell you how many times I saw KoRn in concert. I traveled to see them, watched webcasts of concerts. I went to every metal concert I could, local or national acts. I plugged myself into the local scene and helped with booking, promoting, and running shows. I formed a band that found a level of success and a following, my musical tastes had more or less outgrown KoRn, and through their own evolution of sound, I didn’t identify with them or follow them.

I was the vocalist in the band, and in my mind, believing I was a Christian, I wrote lyrics that espoused my conservative christian viewpoint.  Meanwhile, through moderate success and quite a few connections, my band was getting the chance to play at least once a week, as well as some light touring. In all of that, drinking and running around like an immoral jackwagon ensued. It didn’t matter, I was living my life for me, and it was awesome. People were filling up clubs to hear my band play, our MySpace had ridiculous numbers of followers, we were opening for really cool national acts that were huge influences of ours, people knew my name and sang my lyrics in chorus with me to almost every song. How awesome was I, right?

Moving forward, I had met a girl that just drove me crazy with good feelings, and I was climbing the ladder fast at my day job in big box retail. Next thing I know, I’m a dad. My band is over. WHOA…where’d all this come from? I sat down and began looking at my life. I had absolutely “KNOWN” that I was put on this earth to make music. I was positive that God was going to bring me to a point in my life where I was going to be making metal music that allowed me to spread His message. I formed another band with my drummer from the previous band and some other friends, wrote another album’s worth of material, recorded it all, and played some shows. I was gonna do it all over again, but before this band even hit a year, it was all over again. What was I missing here?

Well, of course, as so often does, life happened. I left the big box retail career, married the girl, and really jumped on the Dad thing. Of course, having both grown up in church, myself and my wife decided that we were going to raise our daughter in church. We shopped around a few, even walking out of mid-service a couple times. Our niece invited us to her church and we started going. It just fit. We did the baptism thing, and of course, me being the nerd that I am, I studied the Bible and christian history relentlessly. Then one day, the guy who was teaching the youth at the time called me and asked me to teach his class for him while he was going to be out of town one Sunday. I remember the lesson well, I taught about Solomon. I basically sat down one Friday and absolutely devoured 2Samuel and 1Kings, boiled it all down into what was basically an interactive narrative style story, and walked in that Sunday and just had an awesome time.

From there I was asked to be the assistant in the class. I hung out with the youth and was the “information guy” for the lessons each week as it all moved along. One day, the guy that was teaching the youth, wasn’t going to be teaching the youth anymore. In chatting with our pastor, my wife volluntold me for the Youth Director job and I jumped right at it. Wait, I’m a youth minister now? The dude that sang in a death metal band, drank like fish while doing it, and cussed like a sailor every other moment was now a youth minister? I  was thoroughly convinced that I was certifiably insane. I started looking around and then one day I saw a link to a video. It was Brian “Head” Welch, the former guitarist for KoRn talking about how he had found Jesus and completely changed his life. At the end of the video, he said something that stuck with me, and was apparently the key to the whole ministry he was doing this interview for. He said “I am Brian ‘Head’ Welch, and I Am Second.” I’d found it, I was second too, and it all made sense.

Flash forward about 4 years or so, and here I sit, writing the blog that  has become quite the adventure, and I am honored to say that I have been asked to be a launch partner for the new I Am Second book called Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First . What you will be seeing on here, as well as the I Am Second website (www.iamsecond.com), is me reading 4 days worth of this awesome new devotional and blogging through it from my perspective. I hope you come back to check it out.

My name is Zach Emerson, I’m a Holy Burrito brother, and I Am Second.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on October 26, 2012 in I Am Second

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: